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A Revolutionary Colonel.
JONATHAN HOLMAN, A REVOLUTIONARY
Read before The Worcester Society of Antiquity,
December 5th, 1893.
By JOHN C. CRANE.
WORCESTER, MASS. :
PRIVATE PRESS OF FRANKLIN P. RICE.
JONATHAN HOLMAN, A REVOLUTIONARY
The earliest knowledge we have of the ancestor of the subject
of this sketch in America, is given in Coffin's History of Old
Newbury. The historian says' :
"Solomon Holman was one of the early settlers in the west
parish of Newbury. He was born in England, served seven years
on board a man of war, ran away in Bermuda when sent for milk,
secreted himself in the barn till the vessel sailed, and lived by
milking the cows. He was discovered by the owner of the barn,
who befriended him, and gave him employment. He afterwards
married his employer's daughter Mary, came to Newbury, built
him a bark, and then a log house on land of which he bought
thirteen acres for a fat heifer. The land is now owned by Mr.
Jonathan Ilsley, from whom I obtained this account. Mr. Hol-
man died May seventh, 1753, in his eighty-second year."
Like other early settlers of Massachusetts, Solomon Holman,
senior, cast about him for land beyond the confines of his home
at Newbury, in the unsettled portions of the Old Bay Province.
Among those who purchased land in Sutton, or emigrated thither,
may be mentioned the Armsbys of Wrentham, Buckmans of Bev-
erly, Bonds and Bullards of Watertown, Burnaps and Daggetts of
Reading, Carters of Sudbury, Crossmans of Taunton, Dikes of
Ipswich, Dwinnells of Topsfield, Davidsons of Essex, Singletarys
of Framingham, Pierces of Woburn, Waters of Salem, Burbanks,
Chases and Holmans of Newbury.
In 1732, twenty-eight years after Joseph Dudley, Esq., Gov-
ernor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, had approved the
sale by John Wampus, a Nipmuc Indian, of land later called
Sutton, and which included Hassanamisco, to John Conner and
others of Boston, Solomon Holman divided among three sons,
Edward, Thomas and Solomon, Jr., the land he had purchased in
that part of Sutton now known as Millbury. From 1726 we may
safely reckon among the inhabitants of early days in old Sutton,
Solomon Holman, Jr. The estate on which he settled lies in the
historic village of West Millbury, just back from the main road
leading to Auburn and Oxford. A half-mile to the south is Rams-
horn Pond, a fine sheet of water, and claimed to be the main
source of the Blackstone river. The stream issuing # from it runs
through the village, on through the town of Auburn to New
Worcester, furnishing much of the power for the extensive mills
of Curtis & Marble. It was on this brook, just across the road
from where the oil and saw mills of Jonathan Holman were situ-
ated, that Thomas Blanchard brought to perfection the eccentric
lathe that has been such a factor in mechanical progress through-
out the world.
From the Holman farm can be seen the site of the old settlers'
Fort or Block House of Indian days in Sutton. The Holman
estate, with its magnificent fields and varied prospects, has ever
commanded admiration and attention.
The first wife of Solomon Holman, Jr., was Mary Brackett,
supposed to have been of Newbury, by whom he had two child-
ren, Solomon and Elizabeth. His second marriage was with
Mercy Waters of Sutton, in 1729. Thus early in the history of
the town we find the two families connected by the holy ties of
matrimony. By the latter marriage he became the father of eight
more children, among whom was Jonathan, the subject of this
sketch, born at Sutton in 1732. From the record we learn that
Solomon Holman, Jr., was in 1726 among the protestants against
having a council of ministers at Sutton in relation to a difference
between pastor and people. In 1742 a petition was presented to
the inhabitants of Sutton for a new parish, which was eventually
formed and became the second in town. Among the petitioners
were Thomas Holman and Solomon Holman, Jr.
From this point onward in this sketch the junior will be dropped
from the name of the above Solomon Holman, as there is no evi-
dence that Solomon the first ever resided in Sutton.
In the documents which follow under date of their respective
years, so much of early history, boundaries and names of persons
appear that it has been thought best to enter largely upon their
publication. They cannot but be of great value to all interested
in the early history of Sutton as originally bounded, or in what
later became the North Parish and eventually the town of Mill-
In i 744 Nathaniel Waters, the first settler on the farm now
owned by the heirs of the late John G. Wood of West Millbury,
deeded as follows : " A certain brook or stream commonly called
Rams Horn Brook, with yard room and all other priviledges
necessary for a saw-mill or mills, on the said brook or stream."
This was granted to Solomon Holman, for twenty-six pounds
lawful money. Nathaniel Waters, the grantor, was a brother of
Jonathan Waters, the father of Asa, first, proprietor of the first
armory and the first powder mill in Worcester County, at Sutton,
both built during the Revolution. Ebenezer Dagget, a witness,
was a son of Ebenezer, senior, to whom was granted Singletary
Pond and land connected with it, on condition of maintaining a
grist-mill at the outlet.
In 1757 a deed was made which was witnessed by Solomon
Holman, in which he is called Captain.
1758. Solomon Holman of Sutton deeds to Jonathan Holman
"All that my certain messuage or tenement of housing and land
where I now dwell, one hundred acres, more or less and in what
I call my homestead through which goes a Town way from y e
precinct meeting house to Rams Horn Pond. Also the half part
of my Saw mill with the mill Dams. Said mill stands on a stream
running out of said pond." The deed was witnessed by J. Chand-
ler, "The mens (meeting) first informed before signing." By the
above conveyance it will be seen that a saw-mill was then in ex-
istence nearly opposite where later was the shop of Thomas
Blanchard, the inventor. At this place, near the saw-mill, years
afterward, were the extensive tanning and currying works of Capt.
Joseph Griggs and others. On the old mill site now stands the
wool-scouring mills of Thomas Windle.
1767. Richard Waters deeds land or timber swamp in north-
west part of Sutton to Abel Holman. Mr. Waters was of the old
family of gun-makers from Salem, of the same ancestry as Asa
first and second, as well as Col. Asa H. of armory fame. He was
the owner of an extensive timber swamp lying on the line of what
is now known as the Norwich Division of the New York and New
England Railroad, at present included in the town of Auburn, or
most of it.
In the list of officers and men in the Colonial service from
Sutton from 1755 to 1761, we find the following Holmans : Solo-
mon, Solomon, Jr. (3d), John, David, Edward, Stephen, and
Jonathan, the subject of this sketch.
In comparison with other towns of Worcester County at the
beginning of the struggle for American Independence, 'the old
town of Sutton stands well. Resistance to British aggression had
often been contemplated by the hardy yeomen of this hill-crowned
inland town. Within her borders were many veterans of the old
French war who had done valiant service at Crown Point, Lake
George, and had seen the standards of France go down before the
victorious army of England. Among the sturdy farmers of this
prosperous hamlet was a descendant of one of the early families
of Newbury, namely, Jonathan Holman. His landed interests
even then were quite large, and eventually extended until at the
time of his death he was the owner of several thousand acres.
He seems to have had within himself a goodly share of military
spirit that could not be repressed when opportunity offered for its
display, and it impelled him to be a leader among men. Its out-
cropping was seen when to the North Parish of Sutton came the
news of English arrogance towards the people of the old Bay
Province — tidings of the massacre in the streets of Boston in
1770. . It raised to fever heat the blood that coursed in the veins
of him who had struck telling blows for England in the contest
with France twelve years before. Hopes of better things led him
with others to wait for wrong to be righted, but the hand of op-
pression was not to be easily shaken off. The clouds of a coming
storm gathered thick and fast as the months rolled on. Before
the shot was fired whose echo spread far and wide, the men of
old Sutton stood ready for the call. It came at last, and the
minute men of the North and South Parishes saddled their steeds
and spurred for Lexington. They had been tutored by one who
knew by experience that grim-visaged war meant death to many
strong brave hearts. That tutor was Jonathan Holman.
As I lean back in the old veteran's arm chair, while writing
this tribute to the worthy hero, my eyes rest upon his old silver
candle-sticks that lit the hearth-stone for his loved ones, while on
the field of Saratoga he camped a victor. The flame that then
streamed from their now blackened sockets long since died away,
but the flame of liberty he fanned at Bunker Hill, White Plains
and Bennington is not yet extinguished. His old musket of
French War days is now silent, but it bears the scars of a contest
waged fiercely for the mother-land. Yet by the injustice of a
cruel king, its bearer was forced to take the sword to maintain a
Less than three miles from his home in Sutton were tories who,
as he well knew, sought opportunity to aid the royal cause. In
his intercourse with them he was not backward in condemning
A firm friend of Col. Holman at this time was Ebenezer
Learned of Oxford, who, though connected with those who
opposed the patriot cause, bravely espoused the side of freedom.
With Jonathan Holman he had bravely fought in the war with
France, and had participated in the glory that came by the con-
quest of Canada. In 1775 Learned was early in the field. As a
trusted officer for the regiment which he had organized he
sought Jonathan Holman ; the latter was chosen major, and
with others he threw a line of brave hearts at Bunker Hill to
shield patriot homes near that shrine of liberty. For several
months Holman served in the region of Boston, preparing for the
great conflict he saw was sure to come. An occasional visit to
his home in Sutton was made, to look after the business interests
intrusted to others. His papers of this year are barren of record
of purchase or sale of land.
So also were the years 1776 and 1777; not a document in my
possession bears those dates. This was a busy period in the mili-
tary life of the Sutton patriot. The Fifth Massachusetts Regiment
was organized and the command of it bestowed upon Col. Hol-
man by the proper authority. The part it bore in the great con-
test for liberty is a matter of history. It was an honorable service,
and the men of Sutton under their trusty leader won fame amid
the fortunes of war. Their great leader of all was the immortal
Washington, and in carrying out his orders no one was found
more faithful than the Colonel of the Fifth Massachusetts.
In 1776 Boston was evacuated. In the Rhode Island Planta-
tions this year the regiment of Holman did effective service with
other troops from Massachusetts. Gen. William Heath of Massa-
chusetts had been ordered to New York. On the 30th of March
he arrived in that city, and under date of July 27th he' writes as
follows in his diary : "A regiment of militia, under command of
Col. Holman, arrived from Massachusetts." Thus we find the
whereabouts of our hero at that time. On the 27th of August of
that year his regiment received a baptism of fire near New York
that steeled its men for harder conflicts to follow. The result was
disastrous to the American arms, but the spirit of liberty yet
burned bright in the men from Worcester County and elsewhere.
In October the regiment of Holman met the foe at White
Plains. Although no great advantage was gained, it nobly bore
its part in the fray. The entire command of the Sutton officer
received the commendations of his superiors.
At Bennington in 1777 we find Holman and his men opposing
the onward march of the historic Burgoyne. They were present
at his military death and witnessed the humiliation of the proud
English lord on free American soil. Under Schuyler and Gates,
among the patriots concentrated at Saratoga in the autumn of
1777 the record of Jonathan Holman and his regiment of farmer
boys shines bright on the page of history. Though the conflict
was not yet ended, the path to final victory was more plainly seen.
New zeal for the patriot cause was kindled, and as Wilkinson
told the tidings of victory, he exclaimed in a burst of enthusiasm,
"The whole British army has laid down arms at Saratoga !"
Col. Holman's active military career ended with the surrender
of Burgoyne, and dreams of peaceful pursuits at home filled the
minds of the homeward-bound patriots of Sutton. They had
borne aloft unsullied, 'midst disaster and victory, the banner of a
free people, and the rest they sought was well earned.
The following Holmans from Sutton were in the revolutionary
army : John, Samuel, Stephen, Abel, Daniel, Elisha, and Col.
In January, 1778, the subject of our sketch was at home. At
a meeting of the town this month the articles of confederation
proposed by Congress for the several States were read, and a
committee chosen to consider them and report at a future meet-
ing. Col. Holman was one of those selected. In February of
the same year he was chosen a member of a committee to oppose
the formation of a new town out of the Second or North Parish.
In 1779 Samuel Waters deeded some land in Sutton to Jona-
than Holman. The deed was acknowledged before Amos Sin-
gletary, Esq., the first white male child born in Sutton, and who
was at one time a member of the Provincial Congress.
17S0. A committee was chosen by the town to examine the
proposed new State Constitution and report at some future meet-
ing. Col. Holman was one of its members.
1786. A committee was chosen by the town to treat with the
Court of Common Pleas, and the insurgents in regard to the
troubles then brewing. This was at the time of the Shays rebel-
lion. Col. Holman was a member of this committee.
1788. Daniel Holman of Livermore Town, so called, in the
County of Cumberland and Commonwealth of Massachusetts [in
that part set off as Maine in 1820] deeds for Seven Pounds one
quarter part of the saw-mill [in Sutton] before mentioned and
first owned by Solomon Holman.
1794. Solomon Holman of Braintree, Vermont, deeded to
Jonathan Holman : " One certain tract or parcel of land lying and
being in Township Number One, on Androscoggin River, in the
Piovince of Maine, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, con-
taining five lots as lay d out in said township. Solomon Holman,
1 798. Col. Holman was of a committee of the Town to treat
with the North Parish about a separation and forming a new town.
1802. Elisha Holman of Winchester, Cheshire County, New
Hampshire, for seventy dollars quit claims to Jonathan Holman
"One third part of a saw-mill, being in the westerly part of the
Second Parish in Sutton, near Joseph Waters." This was at the
old original mill of Solomon Holman.
1804. Jonathan Trask of Sutton, administrator of the estate
of Peter Trask, sold at auction on the 25th of October, to Jona-
than Holman, a triphammer shop on Rams Horn Brook. The
site of this was later one of the old-time scythe factories. Aug.
6th, 1797, this property was sold by Abijah Richardson to Jona-
181 2, April 4th, Jonathan Holman of Sutton, for the sum of
four thousand dollars, deeds to Elijah Holman, his son, as follows :
"The one undivided half, reckoning for quantity and quality, of
all the lands belonging to my homestead farm situate in the
Westerly part of the Second Parish in Sutton, containing by esti-
mation, One Hundred and twenty five acres be it more or less,
together with one half of the barns & all out buildings belonging
to said farm and one half of the dwelling house. Also the one
undivided half of all the lands and real estate which I own situ-
ate and being in the town of Ward in the County [Worcester]
containing by estimation one Hundred acres be it more or less.
Also the one undivided half of my part of the Oil mill situate
near the paper-mill in Sutton, and the whole of the saw-mill &
mill yard situate at the eastwardly end of my home farm afore-
said, with the priviledges and appurtenances belonging."
The above was witnessed by Aaron Pierce and Solomon Hol-
The paper above bears no evidence of having been recorded,
but was duly signed, sealed and acknowledged.
181 2. Indenture.
"This Indenture made the Fifth day of June, 181 2, by and
between Jonathan Holman, Esq. and Elijah Holman, Yeoman,
both of Sutton in the County of Worcester, of the one part, and
Stephen Blanchard, Carter Elliot, David Elliot, and Asa Kenney
all of the same Sutton, Yeomen, of the other Parts witnesseth —
That in consideration of acts and covenants hereafter expressed
and by the said Stephen Blanchard, Carter Elliot, David Elliot
and Asa Kenney to be kept and performed, the said Jonathan
Holman and Elijah Holman have hereby given and granted and
do hereby give and grant unto the said Stephen Blanchard, Car-
ter Elliot, David Elliot and Asa Kenney, their Heirs and Assigns
the Priviledge of making and continueing a Dam across the
Brook, on our Lot, near our saw-mill, and to cut a Canal for the
purpose of conveying water for working a mill. The Dam is so
to be constructed as not to flow above where the ground has
been Plowed. The East end of the Dam to begin a little to the
North of an Elm Tree and to cross the Brook westwardly three
rods, then turning and running Northeastwardly the Northwest-
wardly Side of the Brook till it comes to Asa Woods land, then
turning and running Northerly on said Woods' land three rods to
the road, then turning and running Westerly on the Town road
six rods and one half to a stake and stones, then turning and
running Southeasterly one rod as to join the Dam. To have and
to hold the same for the purpose aforesaid, on this Condition —
that is to say — they shall in the course of the present year deliver
a sufficient quantity of Black lead to paint the said Jonathan
Holmans House, properly ground & fitted for use, and each and
every year shall pay to the said Jonathan and Elijah Seven
Dollars by the year, so long as they shall use the priviledge
aforesaid. And the said Stephen Blanchard, Carter Elliot, David
Elliot and Asa Kenney do hereby covenant, promise and agree
with the said Jonathan and Elijah Holman, That we will deliver
to them the black lead in Quantity and condition aforesaid, for
painting the said Jonathans Mansion House. And that we do
hereby promise, covenant and agree for ourselves, our respective
Heirs, Executors, Administrators and Assigns, That we will each
and every year pay the sum of Seven Dollars, as an annual Rent
for the Premises afore described. And the said Jonathan and
Elijah do hereby covenant and promise on their parts, that so
long as the annual rent of Seven Dollars shall be paid to them
that they the said Stephen Blanchard, Carter Elliot, David Elliot
and Asa Kenney shall quietly and peaceably enjoy the Premises
above described without any molestation from them the said
Jonathan and Elijah or any person under them.
" In testimony of all which the Parties to these Presents have
hereunto interchangeably set their hands and seals the day and
year first written. Jonathan Holman (seal).
Elijah Holman (seal).
Stephen Blanchard( seal) .
Carter Elliot (seal).
David Elliot (seal).
Asa Kenney (seal)."
"Know all men by these presents that I Elijah Holman, of Mill-
bury, in the County of Worcester* Yeoman, in consideration of
eighty dollars the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, have
bargained & sold and by these presents do, grant, bargain, sell,
transfer and assign unto Joseph Griggs & Co., their heirs and as-
signs, this present indenture with all the interest title or claim
which I have or might have, to any rents annuity or damage of
what name or nature soever, by virtue of this instrument.
"To have and to hold the same to the said Joseph Griggs, Ben-
jamin Abbot and Benjamin Whitney, their heirs and assigns for-
"In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this
twenty-second day of September in the year of our Lord Eighteen
hundred & twenty-eight. Elijah Holman (seal).
"Signed, Sealed & delivered
in presence of Aaron Peirce."
"Know all men by these presents that we Joseph Griggs, Benja-
min Abbot and Benjamin Whitney, all of Millbury, named in the
foregoing instrument, in consideration of forty Dollars paid us by
Elijah Holman of said Millbury, the receipt whereof we do hereby
acknowledge, do hereby release and for ever quit claim unto the
said Elijah Holman, all right, title and interest in and unto the
premises described in the foregoing instrument, being the same
interest or estate conveyed to us by said Holman.
* In 1 813 Millbury was set off from Sutton.
"Witness our hands and Seals, at Said Millbury, this sixth day
of November, A. D. 1830. Joseph Griggs (seal).
Benj. Abbot, by
, " In presence of Joseph Griggs (seal).
Joel W. Fay (seal).
" It is understood that one half of the principal of this bond
is paid E. Holman Jan. 4th, 1841."
The property above described was that which included the site
of the shop of Thomas Blanchard, the birthplace of the process
for turning irregular forms. The old building is a thing of the
past, but, thanks to Charles G. Washburn, Esq., of Worcester,
five different views of it have been saved, copies of which are
owned by The Worcester Society of Antiquity. Asa Kenney
mentioned in the indenture, contested with Blanchard the right
to the invention which has been of so much benefit to mankind.
Carter Elliot, another party, with his brother David, were for
years engaged here in the grinding of black lead. They were the
parties from whom the Worcester Coal Mine at one time received
the name of Elliot's Coal Mine.
Dr. Elijah Dix of Worcester, for whom Dix street and school-
house in that city were named, and who was the grandfather of
that noble woman, Dorothea L. Dix, became interested in landed
estates at Dixfield, Maine, with Col. Holman and his sons. As
will be noticed later in this sketch the Colonel had invested
largely in that locality. In connection with his large farming in-
terests at Sutton (later Millbury) and Ward (now Auburn) he
was also a proprietor in two oil mills. These mills were for the
manufacture of linseed oil, and in those days were often found in
New England towns.
At the close of the eighteenth century Col. Holman resolved
on building a new mansion house for his own use. His large
family, numerous connections, and increasing manufacturing and
landed interests made this necessary. The liberties of his coun-
try were assured, and the old hero had retired to his fine and ex-
tensive farm at Grass Hill, then in Sutton. He began the erection
of a mansion which when completed was considered to be one of
the best in the county. It was soon finished, and within its walls
the old warrior resided until 1S14, when the conquerer Death
gathered him to his fathers. The old building, with its great
and solid masonry, stands to-day an imposing structure. A beauti-
ful lawn in front reaches away to the south, beyond which lie the
pleasant fields of the ancestor of a host of that name, transplanted
from Old Newbury. The land comes in conjunction with that of
two farms from which also went soldiers to the Revolutionary
War. namely, Capt. Samuel Small and Capt. Samuel Trask. Col.
Holman's second wife was the daughter of the latter. The finest
farms in Millbury then as to-day, were the Holman, the Waters,
the Small and the Trask, two of which remain in the possession
Col. Holman at various times filled many of the important
offices in his native town. In 1 7S0 and 1 7S1 he was on the Board
of Selectmen, and the latter year was Moderator at a town meet-
ing. His sterling character and sound judgment gave him a high
standing with his fellow-citizens throughout his life. Probably no
man in his day was better capable of estimating the value of land
and mill property than the subject of this sketch.
After a long life of usefulness among his fellow-men, Jonathan
Holman died during the second struggle with the mother coun-
try, at peace with all men. The place he had filled was a promi-
nent one and his death was sincerely regretted.
The following obituary notice appeared in The Massachusetts
Spy, of March 16, 1S14 :
"Died Feb. 25, Col. Jonathan Holman, in the 826 year of his
age. He commanded a Regiment in the Revolutionary war and
was in several considerable actions. He was brave, active and
persevering, inflexibly and warmly attached to the liberties of his
country, and ever ready to take his stand and make disinterested
sacrifices for its sake. Independent in his manner of thinking
and acting, he disdained to be a servile follower of others. He
has been a staunch follower of Washington in the late political
struggle of his country, and deeply lamented the infatuation by
which its independence has been jeopardized. He was an indus-
trious citizen, faithful in his domestic relations, and an exemplar}',
zealous and vigilant Christian. It is believed that he has ex-
changed the conflicts of this evil world for the uninterrupted joys
of the state of the blessed."
Will of Jonathan Holman.
In the name of God. Amen.
I Jonathan Holman of Sutton in the County of Worcester,
Esquire, considering the uncertainty of human life, and the cer-
tainty of Death, being at this time by God's blessing in comfort-
able health, do make this my last will and testament, in manner
following — In the first place, I order all my just debts and funeral
charges to be paid by my Executor hereafter named.
To my wife Susannah, I give Five Hundred Dollars, all my
house furniture, my Chaise and two Cows, to her own use and
disposal forever. I also give to my said wife, the use and Im-
provement of one half of all my estate in Sutton and Ward, during
her natural life, excepting however, my land lying near Rams-
horn Pond, in common with Jno. Jacobs. The afore provision
is in lieu of all Dower in lands which I have owned during my
intermarriage with the said Susannah, and is on the express con-
dition that she takes up with the provision made as aforesaid.
. Also, I give to my son Solomon, Five Hundred Dollars, to be
paid by my son Elijah as hereafter to be expressed.
Also, I give to my Executor hereafter named, all lands in
Braintree in the State of Vermont, in trust .and for the purposes
hereafter mentioned — That is to say — the use and profits of those
lands are to be applied for the support and comfort of my said
son Solomon during his natural life, and in case my said son
should die leaving a widow, she is to have the use and profit of
one third of said lands, during her life in common with the law-
ful heirs of my son Solomon.
I give, devise and bequeath to the children of my son Solomon,
born or which may hereafter be born and to their respective heirs,
all my lands in Braintree aforesaid, in the following proportions,
that is to say, a male to have twice as much as a female, but no
division of said lands are to be made until the death of my son
Solomon and his wife, in order that the estate may be kept for
the comfort of the family of Solomon.
Also, I give to my sons Peter, Jonathan and Ebenezer and to
their respective heirs and assigns, all my lands* lying in Dixfield
and a place called Holman Town, in the District of Maine, to be
equally divided, share and share alike.
Also, I give to my daughter, Ruth Jacobs and her heirs, Eleven
hundred and sixty-seven Dollars, to be paid by my Executor
hereafter named on demand.
Also, I give to my daughter Sukey, the wife of Asa Waters
Jun'r, Eleven hundred and sixty-seven Dollars, to be paid by my
Executor hereafter named on demand.
Also, I give to my daughter Nancy, Fifteen hundred Dollars,
to be paid by my Executor on demand.
Finally, All the rest and residue of my said estate, whether real,
. personal or mixt, of what name or nature soever, wheresoever the
same may be found, I give, bequeath and devise, to my son
Elijah Holman and to his heirs and assigns forever, on condition
he pays or causes to be paid, all my just debts, funeral charges
and legacies afore recited. And I constitute and appoint the said
Elijah, Sole Executor of this my last will and testament.
In testimony of all which, I have hereunto set my hand and
seal this seventh day of September, A. D. 1812.
Jonathan Holman (seal).
Signed, sealed, published, pronounced and delivered, by the
said Jonathan Holman, to be his last will in presence of us, who
at his request, have hereunto in the presence of each other, set
our hands and seals at the same time.
Aaron Pierce (seal).
Jona. Trask (seal).
Hulda Pike (seal).
After his death his homestead passed into the hands of his son
Elijah, and from him to the latter's son, Elijah M. Holman, now
deceased, whose family reside at Warren, Mass., to whom the
public and myself are indebted for much information contained
in this brief sketch.
* In a former will, made in 1807, the testator gives the number of acres as
Col. Holman was twice married, ist to Hannah Sibley, Nov. 3,
1763 ; 2d to Susannah Trask, July 10, 1783.
Ruth, born Dec. 6, 1764.
Solomon, " May 24, 1766.
Robert, " May 28, 1768.
Peter, " Oct. 16, 1769.
Ruth, " Dec. 20, 1 771.
Jonathan, " Jan. 3, 1774.
Mercy, " Nov. 14, 1775.
Ebenezer Waters, " May 25, 1778.
Elijah, " Feb. 2, 1780.
Susan, " Feb. 22, 1784 ; married Asa Waters,
Luther, " Oct. 12, 1786. [Jr.
Nancy, . " July 14, 1792 ; married Charles Hale.
In the possession of the family of the late Col. Asa H. Waters,
of Millbury, a grandson, is a fine oil portrait of the subject of this
sketch. The veteran as there portrayed has more of a ministerial
than a military look. A copy fronts this memoir.
In the old North Parish Burying Ground, the God's Acre of
the early men of Sutton, sleeps the revolutionary hero. Beneath
a towering marble shaft rests all that is mortal of Col. Jonathan
Holman. Around are scattered the graves of many who con-
tested with him the battle-fields of his country. The hum of in-
dustry is still heard in his native village ; the plow still turns the
furrows on the broad acres that once were his ; the cattle graze
the pastures as of old. On the stream where long ago his mill-
wheels went round and round other mills stand and the clatter
still goes on. His contemporaries have gone the way of all the
living, and later generations walk where his feet often trod. But
his record as a man and a soldier is written for all time. Other
generations will come and go, but on the page inscribed with the
list of Worcester County heroes, no name is more indelibly im-
pressed than that of Jonathan Holman.
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